If it seems like you are seeing a record amount of points scored over the first two weeks, your imagination is not playing games with you. The NFL is scoring points at a record pace this year. Here are a few statistics courtesy of ESPN.com News Services that show how much the first two weeks have been dominated by scoring.
- There have been 172 touchdowns scored, the most in the first two weeks of any NFL season. A total of 1,502 points have been scored so far this season.
- Of the 32 games played in 2011, the winning team has scored fewer than 21 points in just one game (Jacksonville over Tennessee 16-14 in Week 1). According to Elias Sports Bureau, that is the lowest total through two weeks of any season since the 1970 merger. In 2010, 15 games were won by teams scoring 21 or fewer points in the first two weeks of the season.
- Quarterbacks have amassed 15,771 yards in the first two weeks, which is a record to open a NFL season.
It will be interesting to see if the scoring slows down as the season progresses. That is usually the case as the weather becomes colder and nastier for many of the teams that play outside in northern climates. For now, enjoy the passing yards and the points that those passing offenses are generating. The league has never seen more prolific offense.
Here are my picks for Week 3. My record on the 2011 Season is 25-7.
Houston Texans (2-0) at New Orleans Saints (1-1): Last year, the Houston Texans allowed 26.7 points per game, good for the 29th-ranked scoring defense in the NFL. This year, the Texans have allowed 20 points in two games, which leads the NFL in scoring defense. There is no denying that new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips has made this defense better, but there is also no denying that the Texans have played two of the worst offenses in the NFL (Indianapolis Colts and Miami Dolphins). This week, the Texans travel to New Orleans to face the Saints, who have QB Drew Brees and one of the best offenses in the NFL.
There is no doubt the Texans are improved, but they are not ready to shut down an offense like New Orleans on the road. Look for Brees to have a lot of success in the passing game and for the Saints to win this game by double digits. I am buying the Texans as a possible AFC South champion, but not one of the elite teams in the NFL. Winner: Saints
Rest of picks:
Buccaneers over Falcons
Eagles over Giants
Patriots over Bills
Packers over Bears
Panthers over Jaguars
Dolphins over Browns
Bengals over 49ers
Titans over Broncos
Lions over Vikings
Ravens over Rams
Jets over Raiders
Chargers over Chiefs
Seahawks over Cardinals
Steelers over Colts
Redskins over Cowboys
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